SEOUL, South Korea (March 4, 2009) - Kumho Tire Co. Inc. reported a net loss of $225 million last year despite higher gross profits and sales.
The net loss is the second consecutive for the company, which reported 13.8 percent higher sales of $2.53 billion. The gross profit grew 11.4 percent during the year to $558.6 million, but operating earnings fell 63.7 percent to $22.7 million, according to data presented recently at an investor relations meeting in Seoul.
Kumho´s sales slumped measurably in the fourth quarter, with unit volume during that period down 18.7 percent. Sales revenue slid only 5.2 percent as the value of firm´s export shipments from South Korea dipped only 1.3 percent, in part due to Kumho´s shifting exports more heavily toward Asia and away from North America and Europe.
For 2009 Kumho is projecting 17.4 percent growth for the parent company - i.e., not including the firm´s Chinese and Vietnamese manufacturing businesses. The firm also expects operating profits to rebound and to cut the net loss nearly to zero.
Kumho did not disclose a forecast for its consolidated activities.